inspiration

I Clicked Inspiration. All I Got was a Picture

So there’s a button when you’re about to make a post that says “INSPIRE ME!” and I thought to myself, what is this? An inspiration store? Hello! I would like to have 2 inspired thoughts please.

Instead, it gave me this:

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

And I thought to myself “Damn, this isn’t at ALL what I asked for. To boot, I’m no Sherlock Holmes: it’s not like I can detail the history of this safe that has very obviously been maltreated for several decades. Actually, I’d bet about 30 years judging by the grime and style of the safe: thin walls, only one lock, obviously meant for a civilian home to keep valuables.

In fact, I’d judge that it would be this very same residential area where said civilian home was: the safe is large and heavy, hard to move. Because it is covered in graffiti, old stickers, paint, and rust encrusted, I would bet that this was abandoned and the valuables retracted long before it was re-opened at the time of this picture. The graffiti and markings on the safe would suggest that the house was the appropriated by local gangs or other streetdwellers, and as they tried to open the empty safe they failed repeatedly for years, though they thought it was full alright. Once the kids got actual tools they busted it open… only to find it empty.

Now here’s the creepy part: why are there scratch marks inside? No, don’t answer that question. The answer is because it became a prison, where the unruly were tossed in to punish them. An iron maiden without teeth, this box stored many victims who eventually tried to scratch their way out. None did, and when it came time to remove the prisoners they were weak and helpless to their abductors.

One day the gangs abandoned the place though: hence the rust on the hinges of the door. When the area was deserted, this safe had no purpose, and sat there until the photographer took this picture and wordpress “inspired” me.

But seriously, that’s it. Nothing I wanted. Oh well.

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I’m negative most of the time, BUT NOT TODAY (The happy post)

VIsual representation of my blog as of now

If there’s one thing I love to write, it’s a good rant.

Rants literally write themselves: if you feel “passionate” about something, rampant stupidity for instance, then your post flows from your fingertips, and it’s some of the funniest stuff you can write.

However, it has been pointed out by some (notably Kitteh) that I write a lot of rants. Negative ones, mind you, that give my virtual self the appearance of being a whiny ^$#%&! And that’s something that I really am not, most of the time, I promise; but the truth remains that there’s a lot of negative on this blog, when there’s really a lot of good to write about as well!

So here’s a list of awesome ^$#& as it’s happening in my life right now, that will be sure to make everyone reading it immediately hate-my-guts/eh/thats-nice-let’s-make-with-a-rant

1. I found a job! To be fair, I found two: the first was a window cleaning gig, but the manager for that particular business is a great rant waiting to happen; I’ll talk about him later as a result. After that, I found a job at a coffee shop, and I’m quickly learning the ropes! Plus, free coffee and bagels is a delicious (and potentially dangerous) combo.

2. I’m starting a double major! I’m not only going to continue to major in music, I’m going to major in Philosophy as well (Phil the Philosopher, hoo hoo hoo)! Why? Because I ^%$#ing love philosophy! It’s a lot of fun to talk about things on a level that’s intangible, to really think about humans, ideas, and the principals on which every society on this planet is founded.

In short, I get to use my brain and feel smart and &$#^. That’s good enough for me!

3. I still have a girlfriend! That’s an accomplishment, seeing as I can be a pain in the ass ❤

4. I am going to start an ARG! Alternate Reality Games are something of interest to me, and I’m going to start one based off of a webcomic called Homestuck: for those who have read it, keep reading. For those who haven’t, please try it. It’s one of the best on the net, easy.

ANYWURZ, I’m really excited for this ARG. I’ve never played one before, but I’ll take this as a great opportunity to learn what they’re all about: for more info, ask this guy a question or two. He’s my best buddy ever, and he knows more about this than I do by far.

5. I’m taking driving lessons! That’s right, this manly man is going to be driving. WIll I be a deliverer of people or a destroyer of roads? We shall see!

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELSE TO WRITE. Diablo 3 is awesome and is the dungeon crawler I’ve wanted for years. HoN is really becoming a potent game, more so than ever before, and Mid Wars is the fucking craziest stuff ever. My Dad and I are getting along really well. My one friend is getting married in 2 weeks, and my tuba buddy is getting married to a clarinetist. My brother has been tweeting crazy shit for over a year and is going back to school for Criminology so he can get into CSIS (ideally). My Dad is on the up and up, and is incredibly hopeful of the future. My other brother is halfway done law school and is going to be a lawyer soon. It’s sunny. I can almost play the baseline for Hysteria by Muse on air piano (this is much cooler). I’m officially out of ideas.

-Phil

15 Minute Short Story: Warhammer 40K Part 2

You can check out part 1 here! This might be a continuing story, so keep your eyes peeled.

————————–

The two stood again in a silence only the two could hear, the spatter and blasts of raging warfare still humming away in the the distant reaches of their concentration.

The Ultramarine, pride of Calgar and greatest child of the Codex Astartes, began to circle his brother. “Blind, say you? And what would you say you are brother? I see clearly what once was a foggy vision to me. You are treading a path that leads us all to doom! You are the one who is blind, blind to the kindness of the god emperor himself. He gives of strength, hope, and salvation when your path only offers death and destruction.” He paused. “What drives this madness?”

The white clad marine, the telltale symbols of the apothecary detailing his armour still visible beneath the grime of battle, simply shook his head as he paced in tandem with the ultramarine, the two super-humans moving like twin stars in orbit amongst one another.

“Brother Carius, do you not see what our emperor has done? I’ve seen many worlds, and many places. Like you, I’ve lived amongst the stars like a god amongst men, an angel of death, an instrument of our emperor’s will. All we’ve seen from high upon our perch is war, brother. Bitter, brutal war, and for what? Humanity? The souls that he calls upon to later feed his throne?” He spat in the blood drenched dirt, his face clenched in a snarl. “He is not fit to rule, Carius. He feeds off of us not unlike the Chaos we’ve fought so hard against. He rules us with an iron fist, and brokers no other ideologies. He was mighty once, but now he is a spectre that forces man to writhe in agony, worlds to be broken under, and life to be forfeit before him.”

The apothecary stopped, and looked Carius in the eye. Carius’s face was full of constrained rage, and immeasurable suffering and sadness. The ultramarine shed tears that disturbed the war torn dirt they trod upon, dampening the ashes of a now dead metropolis. The white clad space marine couldn’t help but do the same, his chosen path now crossing way beyond the point of no return.

“Brother Carius. We have known each other a very long time. Lifetimes longer than any man can have the opportunity. It has been an honour serving with you, brother.”

Brother Captain Carius, champion of Ultramar, unhitched his chain sword as it sprung to life, the saw tooth edge of the blade spinning so fast that it stirred the dust on the wind around it. “Brother Lucian, it has been an honour. Our father would be proud of our power.” Carius’s face became stony as he concentrated on one thing only. “It anyone is to end you, your brother in blood will be your undoing.”

As he charged towards his battle brother willing to let Lucian’s blood spill, Lucian hung his head. He unhitched his sword, the sword springing to life as the vibro-metal hum grew to a high pitched whine. He looked once more to his brother now consumed with rage.

“For the Emperor!”

The Apothecary charged forward towards his fate.

“For Freedom!”

5 Minute Analysis: Dawn of War is NOT League of Legends

As a small forward, a pal of mine was watching me play Dawn of War: Black Crusade. Oh, the fun I’ve been having playing that game again! It’s loads of good fun. In any case, he looked over my shoulder and proclaimed that “This reminds me of league of legends.”
Well, that simply wouldn’t do.

1. League of Legends (Hereby referred to as LoL) is a MOBA. You control just 1 unit most of the time, and it’s called a hero/champion/macguffit. Dawn of War (Hereby referred to as DoW), you control armies. Many people. HANDLE THEM.

2. LoL is pretty cartoony, charmingly so. You won’t see many torn bodies or genereal mishandling of corpses in a desacratory way. DoW, you are expected, nay, gleefully appreciative of the fact that your many units (HANDLE THEM) are tearing up many others. Grrrrrrrrrrrross! and great, but G(L)ORY.

3. LoL, you cant move the camera save to zoom in. DoW? Oh, that’s an impressive looking army. Let’s take a look at them from ground level.

… Why, yes! It is an impressive looking- *eviscerated*

4. LoL is full of armies, but of only 3-4 kinds of units tops. DoW, you have access to an entire plethora of… okay, there’s a giant spider, many guns, chainswords, and mutant horrors. and that’s a 3rd of the units I can have.

5. MOBA. RTS. Although MOBA comes right out of an RTS, that’s still the big one.

6. Did I mention LoL is a MOBA and not an RTS?

7. LoL takes 30-45 minutes to play on average. DoW takes 10-15. Booya time savings!

8. In one, I play as yordles (dafuq folks) and in the other, I get to play as 8 foot tall warmonsters with a penchant for TEARING YOUR HEART OUT WITH A SPOON. GG yordles.

Next time, I’m going to rip off a famous show and steal their shtick with BACON STRIPS.

A 15 Minute Warhammer 40K Short Story

As a forward, I wrote this because we played Jabberwocky. It’s a fun board game, and I was tempted to write timed short stories! This idea came to mind after playing too much Dawn of War: Black Crusade.

The field of war played out in front of the two battle brother like it had before. The eerie familiarity both had with the crackle of fires that engulfed massive warmachines, the loud explosive punctuations of bolter fire beginning to dim as the world became habitual around them.

The brothers stood face to face, eying every detail of their partner. Both were worse for wear, having fought for days on end now. cuts, scrapes and scars marked the passage of a long and brutal campaign to bring this planet to the imperial heel in the name of the god-emperor of mankind, killing off the majority of the population in a planet-wide purge of heretics, mutants, and xenos.

One brother wore white power armour, trimmed in silvery gold, now tarnished with ash and blood of fallen enemies and close calls. The emblem on his shoulder showed a circle within a larger circle, a symbol representing the mind of the god-emperor himself. His helmet had been lost in the fray, although he did recall using it as a weapon when he couldn’t find his power sword. Bent over, he panted deeply; although he was accustomed to battle and war, it was rare to fight a powerful opponent like he had today. His combat knife was gripped in one hand, which he brought forward to ward off any thought of attack.

His brother opposite him stood tall and wore the ever known armour of the ultramines, the bright blue now darker and slick with blood, gore, and marked by flecks of grenades. His helmet was clipped to his belt, as the rigors of close combat did not lend itself well to being blinded willfully by technology. He held his knife confidently in front of him, almost as a challenge to the man opposite him. He smiled.

“I, for one, never thought I’d see this day, brother.” The ultramarine began to circle his brother.

“Then you are blind, as is the man that you serve.” The white clad marine shook his head. “If you were vigilant, you would have seen this coming.”

Fluidity in Life

Relationships are fluid.

Tonight, I went and celebrated the proper opening night of Todd’s show. Tonight was the advertised opening night, free for a fee to the public. Since I went last night to the private free show, I made sure to spend tonight relaxing and getting ready for his big cast party.

The cast parties are something we’ve always shared. It’s a party held on opening night of a play, used to show the accolades of the cast and crew of the show, and then drink copious amounts of booze and dance drunkenly with everyone. Back in first year, when Todd was just scratching the surface of these shows, he’d come to show his support for the upper years. Not only that, but it was a good excuse for me to go out once in awhile when I wasn’t shackled to my computer talking to Lorelai on screen. The tradition continued, with Todd and a number of other friends going out to enjoy a few beers, and dance the night away to awful music.

The past couple of times have seemed different, however. See, it’s been 4 years already. 4 years that were far too long, and way too short too. Time slogged past me it seemed, but in reality it was flying. And here was Todd, once a first year dramatic arts student, now a trained actor. He climbed to the top of his class, where so many had failed. Tonight was his night, the opening night of the most virtuosic work he had done to date. He was the lead in a 2 hour long show, where he was present in every scene and decided the fate of the play. He did excellently, and tonight was his &%$#ing night to SHINE.

I got to the cast party right on time; just as I entered, the whole stream of cast and crew rampage forth from the side door, whooping and calling, blowing bubbles and blowing kisses. The speeches were loud, emphatic. Full of energy. Nothing could go wrong tonight, no sir.

There was a big difference in how it all worked out. Todd was the life of the party now: he was the lead. He was a King for a day, a dream for so many people, or a distant truth from a long time ago for most. He was lording in it, loving it, and making sure that tonight was the best damn cast party he ever had, as it was truly his last within that setting. He had every reason to “max it up” as it were.

Here I was, however, sitting in the corner, nursing my pint of Keith’s (which was watery, funny enough. Maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking Okanagan beer so much lately) and feeling… resentful?

No, that wasn’t it. Todd obviously is my friend. I’m not going to be resentful of his shining moment. I was sad though, and it took me a while of sitting and drinking to figure it out.

Every good friendship has a core. That core is unshakable, and once founded is really hard to break. That’s why people can be friend over massive distances for huge spans of time. It’s essential to every good friendship; however, there is more. Around that core is a fluffy layer of contemporary thought, A.K.A shit that’s going on right now. Friends who hang out a lot have a lot of that fluffy part, whereas friends who are far apart have only the core holding themselves tethered to one another. It’s not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it does happen.

I could feel it happening. The fluff? It was going or already gone in a sense. Things were already different. Todd was celebrating his time alright, but it wasn’t with me anymore, or the rest of the guys. Not the same way. Can I blame him? Of course not, but it still taught me a valuable lesson.

Relationships are fluid, and depend entirely on context.

That might not be how things OUGHT to be; my claim is meant to be descriptive, not normative. Relationships can change quickly based on what context they’re being put into. Right now, Todd’s relationship with me was a core. Nothing more, nothing less. Honestly, it makes me sad, though it shouldn’t, and not in ways most would expect.

Since I know that I can’t be mad at Todd for what he’s doing, I am sad because I know it signifies the end of something we had. We had a tight knit relationship; but after 4 years of university, he’s graduating. Meanwhile I will still be in school, and that status change alone will cause our friendship to be something different, whether I like it or not.

All of this thinking relates to time. A common theme for me these past couple of weeks has been time; the passing, the coming, the going. My time with Todd’s friendship as it stands is coming to an end, and I can feel it. It’s almost palpable. Time seems to keep… flowing, going, dragging with it a lot of things that I will never have again. Nothing (Save for Nothingness, I suppose), with time, is solid and stable; unless you believe in a God of some sort, but since I can’t do that, the only thing that will be guaranteed to be stable is me and whatever/whoever else I can place my trust in not to. Even then, I will change too, and already have I’m sure.

This change is nonstop. You can’t rest, even if for a moment, and you won’t as you’ll see change all around you can there will be nothing you can do to slow it down. I can handle it. I know I can; but sometime, it just feels like it’s too much.

People told me that time was gonna fly, that change was going to happen, and that people would go in and out of my life. This shouldn’t be a surprise to me at all.

I just wish it all a bit slower, that’s all.

Where am I? Why am I here?

I had another “lesson” moment, though just a thoughtful one this time.

I was just at my very good friend’s place to celebrate his excellent debut in his show, and there was an unexpected (to me, anyway) visitor: a really cute girl that seemed to have an affinity with my buddy. I would be a terrible friend if I didn’t give him the look.

Down to the muscle twitch.

In any case, we watched REPO! the genetic opera. A movie so full of angst that I could mould it into small, adorable, angst filled mini demons. It was adorable. And full of blood, gore, black, and VERY pale people.

Paleness aside, the experience was funny: it had been awhile where I made myself feel like a third wheel. I felt very…analytic. Outside of everything, observing. It’s an interesting mindset, as it leaves me feeling apart from the world, and yet incredibly attached.

I said my goodbyes to everyone, and made my way into the alleyway between our houses. The chill air blew through my hair as the ground underneath my feet crunched as only a dirt gravel path can. It’s at this point that I put in my earphones, and being to listen to this song, which is an excellent remake of this one.

Seriously, that remix is fantastic.

In any case, it’s at this point that I’m compelled to look up at the sky.

The black, inky sky holds an imaginable depth, impossible for me to fathom; yet still, in the darkness of the sky, there are shinning stars, twinkling. Not many, but a few, and occasionally they would get covered up as passing clouds drifted by on a gust of cool wind.

It’s precisely at this moment that I hear the cool voice of Leonardo DiCaprio say the following:

“Think about it Ariadne. How did you get here? Where are you right now?”

I think I'm too close to the creepiest man on Earth is what.

Obviously, I’m not as hot as Ellen Page, but the idea struck home. As the words, sounds and the world slipped away around me, all I could see or think of was the sky, space, the universe, the places I’ll never see and never go to.

And yet, here I was. Here. Not anywhere else, but here. Where exactly is “here”? And how did I get “here”?

I pondered those questions for well over 10 minutes I stood in a dirt gravel alleyway. I was on Earth, of that I was certain; but where was that in the grand scheme of things? Where was this place I called home? Even if I could answer that question, the first one was even more perplexing despite its simplicity. How did I get here?

So I ask you those questions: where are you? How did you get here?

Scary Lessons

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of theology. Specifically on Naturalism, the idea that the core fundamentals of the universe and the world are discovered and that there are natural laws that govern us, as dictated by a God of some kind; and the antithesis, with positivism, where we are free beings, not governed by a God but by ourselves, as humans. A lot of this enquiry has only strengthened my resolve in my atheism.

However, I also believe that, if you take the time to look around you life, and smell the roses from time to time, a lesson shows itself to you, hidden but still there to the eagle eye of someone who takes simple things waaaaay too seriously.

There's no WAY that EVERY WORD meant that much! - Most grade 9 students

Arguably, the biggest question that people have is “Why are we here, and how did we get here?” You know, the question to life, the universe, and everything. My friend believes he found the answer in Christianity. He believes in God now, and has his idea on how everything works. In complete contrast, I ended up as an atheist. Whereas he felt a connection to the world and called it God, I saw a lack of connection on any such level, and called it life. We’ve been debating over the specifics of his ideals now for a week, going to all sorts of different paths of reason, belief, and crazy ideas for me to come to the conclusion that I still feel absolutely no connection to an all encompassing being. As for him, I don’t have the right to say, as Ted is his own guy and is kind of impossible to read on these matters.

But ever since I discovered this lack of connection, there’s been a lurking feeling in the back of my mind. Indiscernible, hard to correlate… but it was there. Since I am an atheist, and since there is (for me) no God, then there is no set road for me, no fate, no destiny. I am truly and completely free to do anything I please.

Interestingly enough though, that was not the idea in its entirety: it was satisfactory, but there was still another lesson to be learned. Was it that I now had more responsibility? That’s a given. Redemption and forgiveness were now dictated by other people and myself, and not an omniscient thing? Well, duh. The fact that without a God, I now had more personal power? That’s cool. I like that.

And then tonight happened.

I went to go visit Kitteh for awhile tonight. It’s a ridiculously hot March evening, and I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ve just eaten dinner with my Mom, and I was really content. Kitteh and I talked about Mad Men (she loves it), skirts, mail, work, involuntary voluntary work (or “training” as it’s called) and all kinds of things. But eventually, it was time for me to go. I helped her with her laundry, kissed her goodnight, and started to head home when all of a sudden, I stopped.

In front of me was a back-alley dirt-way. The path stretched out in front of me, long and dark in areas while light in others. The pebbles and gravel of the path lent a rough, callous quality to the path, its bumpy texture evident in the strips of light from the parallel residence building. Overhanging branches from nearby trees cast long, spindly shadows over the path while the poles and pillars and supported wires cast their suitably thicker, dark umbrae over the path. Tire tracks from muddier days drew gouges in the pathway, crisscrossing and intersecting with footprints to show a road travelled by many, remembered by few.

And I thought to myself, my, what a simple way to represent my life; simple at its outset, yet a closer look reveals a bumpy road that winds a little. Light represented the good times, only bright because the shadows could provide the contrast needed to make the good times great. Gouges and sticks showed that things can change my life irrevocably, and will leave me scarred. As easy as it was to imagine that this path was my life, I realized something a little terrifying.

At the end of the path, there were no more lights. The adjacent building blocked the lights from any nearby rooms. Meanwhile, trees clawed across the gap, blocking my vision of the end of the path.

It’s at this point I figured out what a terrifying choice I’ve made, for I knew that, unlike what Ted thought, there was nothing at the end of this path.

At the end of the path, I was going to be alone in the dark.

I have to remember my earlier lessons though: it might be dark, but that’s if I leave it like that. I have the responsibility and power to change that. I have Kitteh. I have goals, and I have dreams.

I’ll light my own way, and people will be there to help me.

I refuse to be alone in the dark.

What am I doing?!

I have NO idea what I'm doing. Where's this space come from?

I have no idea what I want to write.

This is my second time writing that sentence tonight. It’s only showing up once because the first time I did that, I followed it up with a bunch of gobeldy gook that unfortunately resulted in my closing the internet and wiping my gobeldy gook.

The gook looked like this:

Qlskc aldic q;ekjcv w n erhois nfoiq dnf cmiqpwejf apsdochnqpwoeuzlkzlsp qpwo lkf qpoiusdpnbgpouqh dpo lupo uhapsod fqpowud fpaso qrjodhuf qpwoe rqpo wiuerhp as fpoqwopieruypslk,nvpqouh qp woiur hpoq whrfpq ofpo qwf q f pqowuhr poqhwpo fpq hwf 9qw 9f98 hqwpohf poq8whf qw8f hq f qpwf qwf pqw f8qw hfpo8qhwpfo8h psohdfpokjch  pqouhcolkjhlvmnlxzkjnv olijnsdlkqhpeourqh dkjvn lzkxihu pq l.

And that was supposed to represent my thoughts.

They still do, as a matter of fact. And I’ve typed an re-typed the next section at least 3 times with the aim of trying to create something to help my thought align themselves to something useful.

... precisely.

Totally hasn’t happened though. Which is puzzling, as normally when I tell my thoughts to do something, they do it. Or they get the soap. And by soap, I mean I totally mind crush them.

And I suppose that’s a pretty apt way to explain how life is at the moment, actually: it seems like although I do things, things aren’t apt to fall into place unless I glare at a problem with great disdain and displeasure. It’s a glare so sour that most things pickle on the spot; but nooo, life seems to find a way to go “uhh, how bout no?” and continues to do its thing regardless of what I want.

Upside, things that I do want are increasingly awesome! For instance, my girlfriend Kitteh and I made our anniversary, and neither of us have died due to bodily harm and/or mental onslaught! It’s pretty fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, I’ve been doing well in school too, for the most part. And my HoNage continues to get better, and remains a way to feed my insatiable ego and remind me that I am still fabulous and fantastic.

I don’t know why I feel at a loss of control of things; it probably has a lot to do with the preoccupation I have with my lack of money and independence, although maybe a crippling feeling of “WHERE/WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOOOOOOING?!” has a hand in this.

-Phil

On Writing Your Shit

Proving that, with a little gas, anything is possible.

I recently read an article (Right here!) written by what I can only assume is a good writer. The article was not unique in content: all it was about was improving your writing, or how to become a better writer.

What got me was his eighth piece of advice; Finish what you started. A.K.A, complete el poopo. A.K.A, Finnisez votre merdasse. A.K.A, Nein Poopen shooten. A.K.A, finish my shit.

I thought about it, and I realized: I had been writing on this blog for awhile. I’ve actually been writing a decent amount. The problem lay with the fact that I never finished my ideas. Ronald Black, the detective? Fell by the wayside. Writing up the fluff for my D&D campaign? Dropped the beat harder than a crooked reel. Stories? Philosophy? My brain is as full of &$#@ as it’s ever going to be, and I haven’t published a word.

And why not? The answer’s really lame, actually: I  couldn’t. I would get halfway through an idea, and then I would slowly work myself into a rut, leave the idea there, and hitch another idea. Rinse and repeat.

So I figure that, if I’m going to start writing better, what a better place to start then where I’m at now?

I’m going to finish my shit. Then I’m going to get off the toilet, and then actually finish my shit. And when I do, it will be a glorious pile of shit indeed.

And then I’ll finish what I started writing.

Almost... Hnnngh!..